Accountability Challenge Week 48: Time to Relax
Have you ever heard the expression that we need to slow down to speed up?
Sometimes in the frenzied pursuit of our goals, we get so caught up in the tasks, the duties or the actions that we need to take, that we get overwhelmed.
This often leads to ineffective or inefficient actions, and we actually begin to move further away from our goals, instead of moving closer to them.
If this has ever happened to you, or someone you know, then the advice I have for you this week is to slow down.
In the study of high performance athletics, it has been well documented that one of the core strategies for achieving maximum performance in any sport is for the athlete to be able to create a state of mental relaxation, prior to competition.
This very same principle holds true for you and I in the pursuit of our important goals and dreams.
When we are continually focused on “doing” instead of ‘being” we unknowingly build up a tremendous amount of internal stress and anxiety, both mental and physical. Without being aware of this happening, we take ourselves out of the peak performance state, and instead set ourselves up for failure.
If you follow sports at all, you are probably familiar with the expression “he choked”, or “she choked”. Usually this refers to simple mistakes made by an athlete in the heat of competition. For example a golfer who blows a big lead at the end of a tournament, or misses a crucial, routine putt that he or she would normally make in their sleep.
The reason this happens, is that whether they were consciously aware of it or not, the athlete’s internal level of anxiety, or stress rose to a level that made it impossible for them to perform as they desired.
This happens to each of us all the time.
The solution is so simple that it is often overlooked. The solution is to “relax” in the moment. We need to relax our bodies, and more importantly we need to relax our minds.
The best way to do this is to….”breathe”.. That’s it we need to breathe more, breathe easier, breathe longer, and above all relax.
Performance psychologists, tell us through their research that we can not achieve states of high performance, and hence our goals if we are overly anxious.
Let’s practice putting ourselves in a relaxed state.
Sit with your back straight in a comfortable chair.
- Take a deep breath and slowly inhale to a count of 4-5 seconds,
- Release the breath with a slow exhale to a count of 8-10 seconds.
- Focus your mind on the successful completion of your goal. In other words, focus on what you want, not what you don’t want,
- Repeat this for a count of 10 breaths in and 10 breaths out.
Repeat this process several times through out your day, particularly if you feel any anxiety, worry, nervousness or fear creep back into your state of mind.
Repeating this simple, but often overlooked technique consistently, until it becomes a new positive habit is one of the best performance enhancing and goal achieving strategies available to us.
Go ahead and do it now.
Thought for the week: ‘Slow down…just breathe”
Mark Hudon, CFP™, CCS™
Financial Fitness Coach, Certified Cash Flow Specialist™
Creator of The Core Conditioning Program™